‘So…This Happened’ is our quick-hitting weekly round-up of some of the biggest stories in sports. Take a read and own the water cooler sports conversations, if any of you actually have a water cooler that you hang out by to talk sports.
1. The NBA Playoffs – Conference Semis!!
With the NBA Conference Semis deep into their respective series, the beasts of the East and West are emerging. And there’s a chance it might not be Golden State out West. And its sure not looking like Boston or Philly in the East. (Though there is basketball left to play).
The Sixers seemed like they were putting together a super-team. We trusted The Process. Embiid, Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris seemed ready to put a hurting on challengers. But the Toronto Raptors, led by Playoff Kawhi, a splendid and seemingly unstoppable Pascal Siakam, and a deep and defensive-minded supporting cast, are instead beating up on the Sixers. Should be interesting to see if the Sixers have what it takes.
Toronto is good.
Oh, and go watch Kawhi dunk all over Embiid. It looked something like this:
An alternate angle of the Kawhi dunk on Embiid pic.twitter.com/n8PwCXTLY4
— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) May 8, 2019
The Bucks had the best record in the league this year, so their lead over the Celtics is not a huge surprise. But at least coming into tonight’s elimination game, Boston really hasn’t put up much of a fight. And the fans seem ready for Kyrie Irving to walk out the door after his less-than-ideal-leadership-type statements after his poor shooting effort in their last loss.
(Perhaps he heads down to NYC and the Knicks?? This author dares to dream. But is his skill-set worth his crazy? One of life’s big questions…both in sports and in general.)
Out West, the Rockets look like a team that can hang with and maybe even take down the Warriors. With The Beard, Chris Paul, and Clint Capela, they are physical and they can score. Tied at 2-2, its anyone’s series.
Denver and Portland are taking turns looking super-exciting and dynamic. But Denver, led by emerging scorer Jamal Murray and the unbelievably skilled Serbian big man, Nikola Jokić, has pushed Dame and Company to the brink.
2. The Success of the Yankees Patchwork Injury Fill-Ins Show Why Baseball Is So Unpredictably Great
So far in the early goings of this season, the Yankees have been bit by the injury bug worse than anyone. More than half their active roster was on the IL at one point, including Severino, Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Hicks, Andujar, Frasier, Betances, Didi Gregorious!
Amazingly, the fill-ins have done the job, winning in a scrappy way that has Yankee fans jazzed and engaged. We’re talking guys like Gio Urshelo (hitting .360 and playing Machado-esque defense at 3rd base), Cameron Maybin, and Domingo German (out of nowhere to be a top 5 starter).
We took a moment to sit down with New York icon Gio Urshela: pic.twitter.com/4eRUU0tbWW
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 8, 2019
NEW YORK ICON GIO URSHELA!?
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the unpredictability and beauty of baseball.
3. Over In Boston, Things Are Going Less Well. And Not Just On The Field. The Red Sox Split Down Racial Lines In Their White House Visit Guest List
The 2018 World Champions came out of the gate slowly. Very slowly. They’ve played a little better of late, but now they’re in the news for off-the-field reasons too.
It’s time for them to decide whether they are going to take President Trump up on his invite to the White House or not. Recently, the Golden State Warriors, Eagles, and UVA have declined.
On the Red Sox, the last MLB team to cross the color line and no stranger to racism-based controversy (Yawkey Way anyone?), EVERY white player has said he is going and EVERY player of color, including manager, Alex Cora, has declined. Cora specifically spoke out about Trump’s mistreatment of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans as one of the reasons.
Former Red Sox star David Ortiz says he backs Manager Alex Cora and other players who are boycotting the team’s White House visit.
“You don’t want to go and shake hands with a guy who is treating immigrants like [expletive] because I’m an immigrant.”https://t.co/kxJCY54wo6
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 9, 2019
The divide right down racial lines is an embarrassment and – at bare minimum – a terrible look for the Red Sox.
Personally, the only visit I would make near the White House, with that man in it, is on a protest march. It’s this thing I have against bigot, misogynist, abusers who take apart our Rule of Law to line their own pockets. But to each his own.
Oops. Shut up and stick to sports. Right. Got it.
Photo Credit: @Yankees Twitter